Campaign against fracking in Derbyshire village dealt another blow

A protest march took place earlier this year against plans to carry out fracking in Marsh Lane.
A protest march took place earlier this year against plans to carry out fracking in Marsh Lane.

The campaign against plans to carry out fracking in a north east Derbyshire village has been dealt another blow.

A Government minister has confirmed that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is not required for the site, on privately-owned land off Bramley Moor Lane, Marsh Lane, near Eckington.

Chemical firm Ineos has applied to Derbyshire County Council to explore for shale gas reserves, which could later lead to fracking.

Strategic director for economy, transport and communities at the county council, Mike Ashworth, said: “This planning application does not involve fracking. An environmental impact assessment may be needed if Ineos decides to apply for any other planning permission in the future. Our planning committee considers each planning application on its individual merits and is impartial. Each planning decision is based on objective analysis of evidence, taking into account local and national planning policies and the relevant comments of the public and official consultees such as parish councils.

“No date has been set for the proposal to be considered by the planning committee but we’re committed to making information available to the public every step of the way.”

Ineos has submitted a planning application to the county council for construction of a well site and creation of a new access track, mobilisation of drilling, ancillary equipment and contractor welfare facilities to drill a vertical hydrocarbon exploratory core well and mobilisation of workover rig, listening well operations, and retention of the site and wellhead assembly gear for a period of five years.

The plan includes erecting a drilling rig up to 60 metres tall and drilling about 2,400 metres below the ground to investigate the suitability of the rock for fracking – the process of injecting water and chemicals at high pressure into rocks deep underground to create tiny cracks so shale gas can flow up a well to the surface and be collected. Drilling is proposed to take place for approximately 10 weeks, 24 hours a day.

At other times, work would take place between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, and between 7am and 1pm on Saturdays, with no working on Sundays or Bank Holidays.

In his first speech in the House of Commons since being elected MP for North East Derbyshire, Conservative Lee Rowley said: “We have a fracking proposal in the beautiful Moss Valley, which my constituents neither want nor wish to see happen, and I will support them in their opposition for as long as it is on the table.”

Mr Rowley, the first Conservative MP to be elected in North East Derbyshire since 1931, is encouraging people to now have their say.

n Comment on the application on the county council website, using the reference: CM4/0517/10.